November 30, 2012

Season's Readings!

Today I'm doing something a little different. If you've never noticed before, above in my tagline for the blog it says Pooch Smooches is: "Stuff 'bout me & my pups. But mostly my pups." Well, today there's no pup stuff! Not even a cute dog pic. (Okay, well maybe just one if you hang in until the end...) Shocking, right?  

Today is all about another of my big life loves: books!

In the spirit of coming together for the holidays, eight popular Chick Lit authors (okay, 7 popular authors and then me...) are "partying it up" with a shared promotion for book lovers! That means eight fun e-books, each priced at $3.99 or less, that are packed with plenty of laughs and romance to keep you entertained on those long winter nights! And if you'd like to gift one of these books to a Chick Lit fan, we've got you covered with your choice of paperbacks!

Which books are featured in this festive promo? I'm glad you asked that question!

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey - Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the "one who got away." But are some loves best left behind? E-book and paperback available on Amazon. 

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister - Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day's work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? E-book available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble; paperback available on Amazon. 

What the Dog Ate by Jackie Bouchard - Discovering what her dog ate turns Maggie Baxter’s world upside down. With her chocolate Lab, Kona, as her guide, can Maggie forego her overly analytical ways to find a new life filled with tail-wagging joy? E-book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes; paperback available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

The Girl, the Gold Tooth, & Everything by Francine LaSala - Suburban housewife Mina, beaten-down and struggling with amnesia, starts getting her memory and her mojo back. But she soon learns everything has a price in this fast-paced, richly layered, and darkly humorous satire! E-book and paperback available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie - When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancé who can't wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together--or will she break under the pressure? E-book available on Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble; paperback available on Amazon. 

Fashioning a Romance by Libby Mercer - Devastatingly handsome and deliciously weird, John Harrington is the man of Caitlyn Taylor's dreams… and her nightmares. She has no use for a womanizer like him, and dodges his advances like a pro. But when they end up in Paris together, Caitlyn feels her resolve begin to slip. How will she ever be able to resist the irresistible in the most romantic city in the world? E-book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. 

A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr - Jane Frank is newly single after nine years and looking for a second chance at love. But when she dives head first into the NYC dating scene and finds it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, it may be time for Jane to turn the tables! E-book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes; paperback available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone - Lauren Tate's perfectly planned life quickly unravels at the seams when a smear campaign threatens her career as a top TV executive, but she learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who's stolen her heart goes missing. E-book available on Amazon; paperback available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Book Bloggers Joining in the Fun
Throughout the month of December, the wonderful book bloggers listed below will be posting about our Holiday Treats for Chick Lit Lovers. They are graciously supporting us so please stop by their blogs. 
Upcoming Holiday Posts
Finally, we hope you'll "tune in" for our upcoming series "8 Holiday Questions for 8 Chick Lit Authors." Each of us will take a turn at answering a set of holiday-related questions. (To bring this back around to the pups, I might have Kona and Rita help me answer some of them...). I'll post a reminder about that when we start on December 3. 

Thanks for your support. Remember that books make great gifts - treat your friends and treat yourself! If you're going away for the holidays, now's a good time to fill up that e-reader for the long flight. (Or for hiding in the bedroom with at your in-law's house!)

And... because I can't get through a blog post without a cute dog pic: I saw Rita kissing Santa Claus.

Right on the mouth! (He looks a bit shocked by her forwardness...)

I haven't really felt into the holidays yet, but I must say this post is making feel like I'm ready for the holiday madness to begin!  

November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Slut Puppy

I can't wait to see what sort of Google searches will bring folks to my page with that title...

Anyway, remember my earlier post where I said that Rita loves Lucy? Well, it's not nearly as much as Lucy loves the hubs. I think it's because he's the only one who will let her kiss and kiss and kiss him.
"I'm all yours, Mikey!"

November 27, 2012

A Tribute Post - Goodbye Sweet Lou

I just found out that my sister and her husband had to help their sweet corgi, Lou, be fitted for his wings today. This is such sad news.

He had a little health scare earlier, but I thought he was doing better so this comes as quite a shock.

As a tribute to Lou, I thought I'd re-run a post I did about him when he stayed with us in May of 2011. We have been trading dog-sitting duties with my sister for a long time now, and we always enjoyed having Lou come to stay at "The Spa." 

Our Visitor
May 27, 2011
We have a small visitor for the long weekend: Abby's cousin, Lou the corgi. He looks something like this:
Sleeping Lou
Although he actually looks a lot more like this: 

Because he is older and so handsome, Abby LOVES him. He . . .  tolerates her. Here she is lying across his path, trying to tempt him with her cuteness. He was not buying what she was selling.

He is very short. He fits under things... our bathroom sink/cupboard
Last night, we put his bed in our room and closed the doors so he'd be in with us and we'd know where he was all night. In the night, Mike heard him get in the shower. (Not like actually turning on the water and taking a shower, but just walking in there. Our shower is attached to our bedroom, you just kinda walk right into it, go down two steps and turn a little corner and you're in the shower; no door, no curtain, nuthin'.) I guess it was cool in there; not sure. Anyway, later in the night, Mike hears him trying to get back out of the shower--which involves nothing more than walking up two steps. Guess there was not enough room in there to get any momentum going, so eventually Mike had to get up and go boost him up unto the steps and outta there. (These are not deep steps; in fact they're pretty shallow. I didn't even have to boost my 85-year-old mother with her bad knee outta there!) Maybe tonight we'll leave the bedroom door open and let him sleep wherever he wants. Wonder if he'll choose the shower again...

Here are a few more pics, since he (and Abby) are so cute:
He is good motivation for her to eat!

Abby -- sad because Lou doesn't love her

Lou figures out where Ab's treats are stashed
Ab figures out where Lou's treats are stashed
Ready for his close up!
I had forgotten about him sleeping in the shower. He was a funny, sweet, handsome boy. 

Goodbye, sweet Lou. You were a good boy. A very good boy. We will miss you so much. Our hearts go out to your mom and dad. Please send them a little sign and let them know that you are okay. 

November 26, 2012

Monday Mischief: Rita Loves Lucy

Or does she?

We went away this past weekend with Rita to visit my mom. My brother and his family were there as well, with my brother's mastiff, Leo, and my nephew's Lab-mix, Lucy.

Big boy, Leo, licking the ice-ring that formed in the birdbath
Lucy enjoying (?) a bit of ice from the birdbath

November 23, 2012

Sandy Dogs

No, I'm not writing about Rita after she comes home from the beach (although I could probably enter a sand castle competition with the amount of sand she brings home from Fiesta Island). Instead, I'm talking about Hurricane Sandy. Helen Woodward Animal Center (where I volunteer) got 45 cats and dogs this past weekend from shelters affected by Hurricane Sandy. Forty-five!

You can read more about it here, but basically each of the pets that arrived was already up for adoption before the storm hit. However, there were so many displaced pets after the storm, that the shelters didn't have room for the adoptable dogs/cats anymore and needed help.

HWAC, Southwest Airlines, SeaWorld, Delaware County SPCA and Save-a-Pet all worked together to fly the dogs and cats out to San Diego. Here's a super-sweet little video:

If this video doesn't warm the cockles of your heart, then your cockles need some serious thawing. I'd suggest putting them in the microwave on auto-defrost and just leave them in there for as long as it takes.

A lot of the pups weren't ready to be adopted yet when I was there on Monday for my usual shift, so I didn't meet any of the dogs in the video but I did meet some other real sweethearts!

In other Helen Woodward-related news, remember the other day when I posted this picture of the gorgeous but somewhat, um, crazed looking pup that I was in love with...
...well, when I went up on Monday, he was already gone! Hopefully he's being spoiled rotten in his new furever home even as you read this. Hopefully all the "Sandy" dogs and cats will soon find their furever homes as well.

A Special Shout-out for Tripawd Warrior Princesses
The day after Thanksgiving will probably always make me think of our beautiful Abby. We brought her home from HWAC on 11/27/09, the day after Thanksgiving. We are very thankful that we got to have that special girl in our lives, even if for way too short of a time.

Sadly, this week, the last of the original Tripawd Warrior Princesses that I dedicated the drawing below to earned her wings.
Tripawd Warrior Princesses: Rio, Isabelle and Abby
I like to think our special girls are all together now, with their capes and their wings. Goodbye sweet Isabelle. You were truly an inspiration, surviving Hurricane Katrina and two kinds of cancer. Run pain free and say hi to my Abby!

I hope everyone here in the States had a lovely Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Poor-dog's Frosty Paw

The hub's physiotherapist suggested freezing cups of ice and using them to ice-massage some of the continuing trouble spots on his knees post-surgery. Well, Rita (who is completely uninterested whenever I try to give her an ice cube) has decided that these are super tasty.
"Oh man. I can't enough of this!"

November 19, 2012

Monday Mischief: Pixie Sticks Her Nose Where She Shouldn't

Today, we have a guest mischief-maker that we're featuring - the delightful Pixie. (Rita's just been such an angel, we had to go hunting for mischief.) Doesn't she look sweet?
Pixie at the beach

November 16, 2012

Maybe She Needs a Sibling

I was actually going to write this post with just a quick update on our yard work, but then I looked at his picture again:
"Why won't you play with me??"

November 13, 2012

Be the Change - Shelter Drive By!

Today I've got a very Hellen-Woodward-centric post.

Dr V. (not our Dr. V, whom you might remember from Abby's oncology visits, but a different Dr. V.) of has teamed up with BlogPaws and the folks at Iams (with their annual "Home 4 the Holidays" campaign) to highlight National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week.

Dr. V. asked that bloggers do a "drive-by" of a local Home 4 The Holidays shelter or rescue and drop off a donation. She said it could be something "as simple as bringing them an old towel from your closet or as complicated as you wish. I like simple. Simple is good and repeatable and easy and is what I will be doing."

So, I did something simple. I gathered up a small bag of some sheets and towels we no longer needed. I also checked Helen Woodward Animal Center's "wish list" page. If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know I volunteer at HWAC. They actually started the Home 4 the Holidays campaign. In fact, a certain little girl we know and love was adopted during that campaign:
How could we resist bringing this face home with us?? (Miss that girl...)

November 12, 2012

Monday Mischief: Underwear Everywhere

Around here, we can't resist an underwear snatching pooch. (If you don't already know what the dog ate, well, he ate some panties that didn't belong to his momma. This is no spoiler, since it's revealed in the opening line of the book: The vet handed Maggie Baxter a plastic specimen bag containing a pair of size-tiny lavender thong panties extracted from her dog; but they were not hers.)

So, of course we fell in love with Ecco, the underwear thief, when we first met him a few months ago. Ecco is the "nawty dawg" with a big heart. His mom contacted me about spreading the word for Ecco's 2012 "Underwear Everywhere" Drive.

The flyer is a bit hard to read on my blog (I couldn't post it full size or it wouldn't fit), but below the image I've typed up the text.

"Please help Ecco, the naughty dog with a big heart, collect NEW socks, hats, gloves and underwear for the 300 plus homeless served by the Union Mission Ministries. Every year, Ecco tries to redeem himself by donating more underwear than he has destroyed over the past year. It's never too late to turn your negatives into positives! Thank you for helping Ecco with his goal of collecting over 1000 pairs of socks and undies! Please send all items to p.o. box below. If you are local (Hampton Roads), we will be happy to provide pick up! Donations can also be made via our web site, under the "BIG HEART" tab. Please write "Mission" in the comments to ensure the proper allocation of your gift."

P.O. Box 1007, Smithfield, VA 23430-1007

Rita is, amazingly, the first dog we've had that doesn't steal our undies. It never occurred to me to take a photo of Bailey or Abby scampering around with our undies (probably a good thing), but luckily we have the adorable photo of undie-thief Ecco to enjoy for Monday Mischief.

Is your dog an undie thief?

Happy Monday Mischief!

November 9, 2012

Just Chew It

The other day on, a site my friend started for "sharing, support & shenanigans" with other dog lovers (and also cat and lizard and any-ol'-pet lovers!), she posted a link to this very informative article from Whole Dog Journal on The Best Rawhide Chews for Your Dog.

Rita is not a destructo-chewer (thank heaven!), but I love to give her something to munch on in the afternoons when she's bored and wants me to stop staring at the box on my desk. Since I normally write in the afternoons, I need to keep her entertained. But I've never been really sure about what's best to give her.

We've tried a few things, starting with bully sticks. You might remember I posted these pics of her enjoying her bully sticks before.
"Give it to me!"

November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Power of Jerky

As you know, we've been in the midst of a backyard renovation project. It had hit a snag (caused by the city, which tried to give me a heart attack from the stress of dealing with them to get our permit, a process that only took about 10 days longer than it should have...), but we are back on track now. This is good news for me and the hubs, but terrible news for Rita, since she HATES the strange men in the yard.

Here she is in typical Cujo-mode when she sees the men out there working (been keeping the blinds down, but as you can see that doesn't really help...):
Yes, her feet are fully off the floor.

November 5, 2012

Monday Mischief: Playing Dentist

Usually on the weekends, we like to take Rita to Fiesta Island and we go for a long walk with her while she plays with the other dogs and romps in and out of the bay. But, since Mike's double knee surgery, it's too crazy down there for him. (I've seen lots of people - and I've been one of the people - bowled over by charging dogs not watching where they're running.) So, to protect his knees, we've been going to the much calmer Kate Sessions Park, which has a lovely view of the bay.

Technically it's not an off-leash park, but it's got a huge lawn, so there are usually some dogs playing off leash in one corner. Every time we've been there, Rita has found a buddy to play with, like this cute Golden mix pup. She invited him to play "dentist":
"I'm opening as wide as I can. How do they look?"

November 1, 2012

Frosty Paw Winners!

Just a quick post to announce the winners of the Frosty Paws giveaway!

The lucky folks/pups who have Frosty Paw coupons and the stuffed Frosty dog coming there way are:
"Hello, winners! We're headed your way! Please don't eat us."
  1. cstironkat
  2. Roxy the traveling dog
  3. Danielle M.
  4. JO
  5. Britt T.
  6. Sara M.
  7. Micki
  8. Peggy F.
  9. Kathleen N.
  10. Ashley T.

I'll send emails out to get your mailing addresses.

"It tastes like heaven in a cup!"
Rita says it's never too cold to eat a Frosty Paw... but, then, Rita lives in Southern California. No worries if you happen to live somewhere that does get too cold - the coupons are good until the end of next year, Dec. 2013! Thanks again to the folks at Frosty Paws!

A Special Beach Day

Last Wednesday a handful of current/former Tripawd owners met up at Fiesta Island. In attendance, we had Linda & Bernie Bin Laden (siblings to Angel Max), Queen Nova's mom was there (unfortunately, being a Great Dane and all, it was not possible for Nova herself to fit in a carry-on and come along with Mom on her trip out from Michigan), Wookie (the lone Tripawd in attendance), and of course Rita (sister to Angel Abby).

It was a beautiful day - sunny and hot and the water was about as calm as I've ever seen it in the bay.
Linda, Rita & Bernie immediately head for the water.
Rita & Big Bear